Dear Beneficiaries of Nepotism,
This letter may or may not be for you. It can take a while to realise whether you’re someone who benefits from nepotism. It’s a complex topic with many different approaches but there’s one lasting trait through it all: it always involves a person with power.
Now, nepotism isn’t always a bad thing and it can be but is not always corruption. The bad side of nepotism comes when people don’t acknowledge they benefit from it. The best thing you can do as someone who benefits from nepotism is to recognise your privilege and do some good with it. Your privilege is that you know someone powerful enough who likes you and can get what favours you. Not everyone knows someone like that, can get help like that, and is favoured like that.
The second best thing you can do is to recognise the stakes. What does it mean that you, simply by your privilege of knowing and being liked by someone of power, get this particular thing? Should you take it? Should you refuse? If you take it, is it really just nepotism or is it corruption too? Is there someone else more appropriate to get it? How can you use this opportunity to help someone else who might not otherwise never get help like this? If you pass this opportunity and give it to someone else, will you ever get this sort of opportunity again?
Eric Trump’s comments on nepotism earlier this month is exactly why it’s important to assess whether you benefit from it. Nepotism isn’t a “factor of life”. It might be for him and his family but it isn’t for everyone and saying so is ignorant. And this part is just speculation but I doubt his father would “encourage them to go on their own way” if they weren’t competent; just look at the qualifications of the people he put in the White House. If anyone appointed by him recognised their privilege and just how high the stakes are, they should’ve declined.
It’s imperative to recognise the privilege you have, whether that privilege comes from having business-owning parents, your race, or being liked by the right people. But recognising you benefit from nepotism is not enough, you need to use it to help others. If you benefit from nepotism, it is likely you can access it whenever, but there are people out there who don’t have that sort of privilege. So help them out, do some good.
A Letter Per Person